The Bones of Avalon – Review

4.5/5.0 Magic and Mystery.

The Bones of Avalon by Phil Rickman

Suspense, magic and mystery, Phil Rickman gives it all in this book. Although the history has been well researched it doesn’t come over as stuffy facts, it’s a leisurely read with great dialogue that will keep you turning the pages. There is some unnecessary padding through the book but it doesn’t spoil a good story and if you know Glastonbury, where it is set, you really can feel the area coming through the pages. Murder, kidnapping and love this is the read that lazy Sunday afternoons are made for.

The Blurb – 

Religious strife, Glastonbury legends, the bones of King Arthur and the curse of the Tudors…can Renaissance man John Dee help the young Queen Elizabeth to avoid it? It is 1560. Elizabeth Tudor has been on the throne for a year, the date for her coronation having been chosen by her astrologer, Dr John Dee, at just 32 already famous throughout Europe as a mathematician and expert in the hidden arts. But neither Elizabeth nor Dee feel entirely secure. Both have known imprisonment for political reasons. The Queen is unpopular with both Roman Catholics and the new breed of puritanical protestant. Dee is regarded with suspicion in an era where the dividing line between science and sorcery is, at best, indistinct. And the assignment he’s been given by the Queen’s chief minister, Sir William Cecil, will blur it further: ride to the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, bring back King Arthur’s bones. The mission takes the mild, bookish Dee to the tangled roots of English magic and the Arthurian legacy so important to the Tudors. Into unexpected violence, spiritual darkness, the breathless stirring of first love…and the cold heart of a complex plot against Elizabeth. With him is his friend and former student, Robert Dudley, a risk-taker, a wild card…and possibly the Queen’s secret lover. Dee is Elizabethan England’s forgotten hero. A man for whom this world – even the rapidly-expanding world of the Renaissance – was never enough.


After the Light, After the Love

‘After the Light, After the Love’

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‘Is There A Price For Happiness?’

This is the most dangerous story that local journalist, Alex Price, has taken on so far and this time it’s personal.

Fifty years of love culminate in the magical wedding ceremony between Jack and Mary, a day full of love and laughter, but it will also offer up dark opportunities. Amidst the party atmosphere, as dusk falls, bridesmaid, Lily, is abducted from the celebrations.
Alex will need all of her ingenuity to get to the bottom of this story, which involves far more than she ever thought possible.
Will love triumph or will there be a price to pay for such happiness?


After the Light, After the Love.


In After the Light, After the Love, we find Alex struggling to deal with multiple issues. Slightly darker than the other two books in the Alex Price series, but well worth joining Alex for her journey.
As usual S C Richmond writes with grace and a love for her well rounded characters. The story is fast paced and packed with emotion and intrigue. We meet old friends and new enemies.
As ever, I’m not going to write any spoilers in my review, so will just say enjoy the book!



A real page turner that takes you through a sea of emotions. You can’t help but care deeply for the characters. A great read, highly recommended.

D W Sheffield


Order now by clicking the link, After the Light, After the Love or by contacting me via facebook, signed copies available.


Come and meet Alex.

Guest Post – Carol Taylor

My lovely friend and wonderful cook has done this blog post especially for you and it looks wonderful. If you like this you should check out her blog for more recipes. You can find her here. Or on her new blog




I have been thinking about what sort of dish I could pick for a post on my dear friend Steph’s blog and this dish is one my American cousins love. It is also a dish where anything can go into it and ideal for sitting on the stove and having a bowl when you can snatch the time.

It is the national dish of the state of Louisiana and can be made with meat, seafood or both and it has its roots in many cultures French, Spanish, West African and Choctaw.

Originating in Southern Louisiana during the 18th century and whether it is meat, shellfish or a mixture it contains what the Louisianians call ” The Holy Trinity of vegetables” namely celery, bell peppers and onions.

It is a thickened stew using either Okra, a roux( flour and fat) which is the French influence or the Choctaw spice called file which is dried, ground Sassafras leaves.

There are many variations of this dish and everyone will tell you theirs is the original and passed down through the generations but they are all


I cup of flour

3/4 cup of bacon drippings

1 cup coarsely chopped celery

1 medium onion chopped

1 chopped green bell pepper

2/3 cloves of garlic chopped/crushed

1 lb andouille sausage sliced (or sausage of your choice)

6 beef bouillion cubes,

3  quarts of water

1 tbsp sugar

Salt to season

2 tbsp tabasco sauce

1/2 tsp of cajun seasoning

4 bay leaves

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp thyme

2 tsp file powder

1 can tomatoes

1 can of tomato puree

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 lb okra chopped in inch pieces.

1 lb crab meat

3 lb shrimp

2 tsp file powder.

Let’s Cook!

To make roux whisk the flour into 3/4 cup bacon drippings, whisking and cooking until the roux turns a deep brown 20/30 minutes. Be very careful that you do not burn it or you have to start again.

When you remove the pan from the heat continue to whisk until the roux has stopped cooking.

Put your chopped celery, onion and bell peppers into the roux as well as the chopped sausage bring the roux to a soft simmer and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the veg is soft. Set to one side.

In a large pan bring the water or stock to the boil whisking until the buillion cubes has dissolved if you are using them.

Mix in the sugar, Tabasco sauce, cajum, bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes and tomato puree. Simmer for 1hr in total but at 45 minutes stir in the 2 tsp file gumbo powder.

Meanwhile, melt the remainder 2 tbsp bacon drippings in a pan and add the Okra with the vinegar cook over a medium heat for 15 mins.

Remove the Okra with a slotted spoon and add to the gumbo mixture. Mix in the crab, the prawns and Worcestershire sauce simmer for 45 minutes.

Just before serving stir in the remainder 2 tsp of file gumbo powder.

Serve with steamed rice.



If you have homemade stock then you can use that and also instead of sausage or fish you can use chicken, in fact you can use any mixture of meat/fish that you choose.

I hope you enjoy this lovely anything goes in the pot soup and if you would like to see more recipes from me I can be found over on

Or on my new blog

Writers Wednesday.

Let’s help each other out use #WritersWednesday.

Are you a writer? Novels, short stories, poetry? It doesn’t matter what you write just get involved. Leave a link to something you want people to notice and check out someone else’s work. If you like something you see share it, just hashtag Writers Wednesday (#WritersWednesday).

  1. Leave a link, post or page.
  2. Please share this post.
  3. Enjoy checking out the other links in the comments.

It really can be this easy to get your work noticed.

*I may reblog your post across all of my social media.*

*If there’s any adult only content please give a warning.*

Now You’re Writing.

So you have your pen, paper and ideas, I hope you’ve started writing everything down. Ever passing thought, hopeful storyline and character ideas. It’s the exciting part when the ideas come through thick and fast.

You’ll write it out in your own style, this is not the time to start listening to other authors, there are so many ways to structure your writing and everyone approaches it differently so write it down however it works for you. The only thing I will offer by way of advice is to find a way to keep notes on your characters, not necessarily for your first book but if you choose to use those characters again in the future you don’t want to be trawling back through previous books to find out what colour eyes someone had. So do keep notes or filing cards for characters, it could save you a lot of time in the future.



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